To help you break the busy-ness cycle and work happier, we’ve rounded up a handful of counter-intuitive ways to tweak your habits and your mindset. They range from obvious-but-oft-ignored tips
Do more exercise. Make sure you exercise for at least 30 minutes a day, 3 times a week. Exercise is one of those activities that improves almost everything, including productivity and focus.
Ask for help and share feelings. If you feel under pressure and feel your workload is spiralling out of control, take the opportunity to discuss your feelings with friends, family or your manager.
Sit less. Most of us spend the greater part of our day sitting in front of a computer. In fact, the average person sits 9.3 hours a day — more than they sleep. All of this sedentary work is leading to increased cardiovascular disease, obesity, diabetes, and lots of other unhealthy side effects. Like death. Reporting on a 14-year-long study done by the American Cancer Society, the NY Times recently outlined the lethal impact of sitting:
“The men in the study who spent six hours or more per day of their leisure time sitting had an overall death rate that was about 20% higher than the men who sat for three hours or less. The death rate for women who sat for more than six hours a day was about 40% higher. Patel estimates that on average, people who sit too much shave a few years off of their lives.”
Be more appreciative. At the end of each day, write down three things you have felt grateful for. Make a concerted effort to appreciate friends and family.
Hobby time. Spend more time on the active things you do that you enjoy and find stimulating.
Keep in touch with friends and loved ones. Research has shown that people whose goals in life are focused on family, friends and colleagues have increased wellbeing.
Eat well. Begin your day with a nourishing breakfast. When you get up, your body chemistry is ready to convert food into long-lasting energy.
Music. Play some happy, uplifting music
Shorten your commute. It’s no secret that humans often make inaccurate predictions about what will make them happy. One of the most common oversights occurs when we think about the impact of our daily commute.
Value yourself and others. Spend time to reflect on what you have done well, show your appreciation and take pride in the compliments that you receive.
Laugh Daily. Laughter assists the immune system. Laughter is generates endorphins. Endorphins are nature’s anti depressant.
Fresh Air. Feeling sluggish late in the afternoon? Instead of making another cup of coffee take yourself outside for 10 minutes if fresh air.
Keep a bottle of water on your desk at work. When the weather starts to warm up you need to drink more water so keep a bottle of water on your desk to remind you to drink.
Read a book. It should be a story instead of some non-fiction or textbook. The key factor is to have it evoke images in your mind and that will drop your stress level like a stone and elevate your wellbeing like a balloon.
Sleep well. Keeping a routine is really important if you want to get a good night’s sleep. It’s really important for our wellbeing so it’s really important to get enough of it. Try to avoid caffeinated drinks later on in the day and don’t eat before bed. This should help you to drift off.
Learn new skills. Achieving goals you’ve set for yourself can increase your confidence and help you to feel more optimistic about the future.
Get an office pet. Scientists have long-theorized that having pets at work improves productivity and camaraderie, and recent studies back up this assertion — particularly when it comes to dogs. Here’s a summary by Crain‘s of a recent study out of Central Michigan University:
“Researchers found that having dogs present increases collaboration. In one experiment, they asked 12 groups of four people to create brief advertisements for an imaginary product. Some of the teams had dogs with them; the others did not. Afterward, participants were asked to comment on how they felt about their teammates. Those in the groups with dogs rated their colleagues higher on matters such as trust and team cohesion”.
I hope you take this day to truly celebrate yourself, and remember – you don’t have to be Wonder Woman. The woman you are is wonderful enough.